Today's News

OSHA orders Iowa-based railroad to make amends to employee censured for reporting work-related injury (6/17)

June 17, 2010
/ Print / Reprints /
ShareMore
/ Text Size+

OSHA has ordered the Iowa Interstate Railroad, headquartered in Cedar Rapids, to make amends for censuring a train conductor who was disciplined in reprisal for reporting a workplace injury, according to an agency press release.

Iowa Interstate Railroad issued an employee a notification of formal investigation in January 2009 in reprisal for reporting a work injury and also retaliated against the employee by disciplining him in the form of a letter of censure. The employee filed a whistleblower complaint with OSHA, alleging that the railroad had retaliated against him for reporting his work injury. OSHA's Whistleblower Protection Program conducted an investigation under the Federal Rail Safety Act, found merit to the complaint and ordered relief.

"An employer does not have the right to retaliate against its employees who report work-related injuries," said Michael G. Connors, OSHA regional administrator in Chicago. "While OSHA is best known for ensuring the safety and health of employees, it is also a federal government whistleblower protection agency."

OSHA has ordered IIR to cease and desist automatic issuance of a notice of investigation for employees who report work injuries without reasonable suspicion that a hearing will uncover evidence of a policy violation or misconduct. OSHA also has ordered IIR to take corrective actions by expunging all files and computerized data systems of references to the disciplinary hearing involving the employee, as well as those of references related to the letter of censure.

Additionally, OSHA has ordered the railroad to pay the employee $1,000 in punitive damages, to post and provide its employees with information on their FRSA whistleblower rights and within 30 days inform the OSHA regional administrator in writing of the steps it has taken to comply with the above order.

IIR and the complainant have 30 days from receipt of the findings to file an appeal with the Labor Department's Office of Administrative Law Judges. Under the FRSA, employees of a railroad carrier and its contractors and subcontractors are protected against retaliation for reporting on-the-job injuries and illnesses, as well as reporting certain safety and security violations and cooperating with investigations by OSHA and other regulatory agencies

OSHA enforces the whistleblower provisions of the FRSA and 16 other laws protecting employees who report violations of various securities laws; trucking, airline, nuclear power, pipeline, environmental, rail, workplace safety and health regulations; and consumer product safety laws.

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to ISHN.

You must login or register in order to post a comment.

STAY CONNECTED

Facebook logo Twitter YouTubeLinkedIn

Multimedia

Videos

Image Galleries

ASSE's Safety 2013 Review

A photo gallery from the Las Vegas Convention Center, where ASSE’s annual professional development conference was held June 24 to 27. All photos courtesy of the American Society of Safety Engineers.

THE MAGAZINE

ISHN Magazine

ishn april 2014 issue cover

2014 April

In this month's issue of ISHN, check out features about safety in the oil and gas industry.

Table Of Contents Subscribe

THE ISHN STORE

M:\General Shared\__AEC Store Katie Z\AEC Store\Images\ISHN\safetyfourth.jpg
Safety Engineering, 4th Edition

A practical, solutions-driven reference, Safety Engineering, 4th edition, has been completely revised and updated to reflect many of today’s issues in safety.

More Products

For Distributors Only - January 2014

ISHN0114_FDO_cov.jpgFor Distributors Only is ISHN's niche brand standard-sized magazine supplement aimed at an audience of 2,000 U.S. distributors that sell safety products. Circulation only goes to distributors. CHECK OUT THEJANUAYR 2014 ISSUE OF FDO HERE

ishn infographics

2012 US workplace deathsCheck out ISHN's new Infographic page! Learn more about worker safety through these interactive images. CLICK HERE to view the page.